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When is the best time to start taking statins? New research from Prof Barbara Casadei shows that short term use of statins, just before and after heart surgery, may not be as beneficial as first thought. The team’s new work in 2,000 people undergoing heart surgery showed that short term statin use doesn’t decrease the risk of heart damage or atrial fibrillation (a common side effect after surgery), and can in fact increase the risk of kidney damage.

Computer generated picture of heart with cardiogram overlayed
Statin treatment before heart surgery does not prevent heart damage or atrial fibrillation

Giving daily doses of statins for a few days before and after heart surgery does not prevent heart muscle damage or the development of atrial fibrillation (AF), according to an international clinical trial led by the University of Oxford and funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

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